The households piloting Regina’s new composting program have improved their waste diversion from about 19 to 52 per cent, says the city’s director of water, waste and environment, Kurtis Doney.
“We’re hearing from residents that their garbage needs are much less because the majority of their household garbage is now going into the food and yard waste,” he said Wednesday, following the report of the first-month results.
The $3.5-million green cart program, which launched earlier in the fall and includes 2,800 households from all corners of Regina, is the precursor to a city-wide initiative in 2023.
While there have been no significant hiccups so far, “it’s very important for us to do a pilot for all different seasons in Regina to see if there’s any tweaks or changes we need to make before we roll it out,” Doney said noting that after one year, he and his staff will report to council on how it can be expanded.
Regina is one of only a few cities with populations over 150,000 that does not this type of program in place already, he said.
While the objective of the program to reduce the waste going into the landfill by 65 per cent, ultimately extending its life, Doney said the current composting facility at the site is only designed to accommodate the 2,800 pilot households and would need to grow significantly to serve the 60,000 that exist in the city. He was unable to attach a dollar figure to the undertaking.
Across the city, pilot households had about a 50 per cent set-out rate, Doney said, “which is really good for a program that’s brand new.”
He added that there’s low contamination, meaning people are sorting their table scraps, such as meat, bones, dairy and grease.
The processing, done by a GORE cover system at the landfill, takes about eight weeks.
The compost produced will be reused in the city’s parks and gardens.